Author(s): Dent JA, Polson AG, Klymkowsky MW
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Abstract We have developed a whole-mount immunocytochemical method for Xenopus and used it to map the expression of the intermediate filament protein vimentin during early embryogenesis. We used two monoclonal antibodies, 14h7 and RV202. Both label vimentin filaments in Xenopus A6 cells, RV202 reacts specifically with vimentin (Mr, 55 x 10(3] on Western blots of A6 cells and embryos. 14h7 reacts with vimentin and a second, insoluble polypeptide of 57 x 10(3) Mr found in A6 cells. The 57 x 10(3) Mr polypeptide appears to be an intermediate filament protein immunochemically related to vimentin. In the whole-mount embryo, we first found vimentin at the time of neural tube closure (stage 19) in cells located at the lateral margins of the neural tube. By stage 26, these cells, which are presumably radial glia, are present along the entire length of the neural tube and in the tail bud. Cells in the optic vesicles express vimentin by stage 24. Vimentin-expressing mesenchymal cells appear on the surface of the somites at stage 22/23; these cells appear first on anterior somites and on progressively more posterior somites as development continues. Beginning at stage 24, vimentin appears in mesenchymal cells located ventral to the somites and associated with the pronephric ducts; these ventral cells first appear below the anterior somites and later appear below more posterior somites. The dorsal fin mesenchyme expresses vimentin at stage 26. In the head, both mesodermally-derived and neural-crest-derived mesenchymal tissues express vimentin by stage 26. These include the mesenchyme of the branchial arches, the mandibular arch, the corneal epithelium, the eye, the meninges and mesenchyme surrounding the otic vesicle. By stage 33, vimentin-expressing mesenchymal cells are present in the pericardial cavity and line the vitelline veins. Vimentin expression appears to be a marker for the differentiation of a subset of central nervous system cells and of head and body mesenchyme in the early Xenopus embryo.
This article was published in Development
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy